The Miami Herald reports that a Royal Caribbean crew member sexually assaulted a passenger during a New Year’s cruise according to the allegation in a lawsuit filed last week. The newspaper reports that the sex attack was partially captured on surveillance video.
The woman was attacked on January 1, 2012 while cruising aboard the Navigator of the Seas during an Eastern Caribbean cruise.
The Herald explains that on the morning of the attack, the victim had gone to an upper-level deck to use a whirlpool. She then asked a crew member for a towel, and he led her into a bathroom, where he assaulted her. The cruise ship’s CCTV surveillance video captured images of the victim trying to escape, only to be dragged back in to the room.
The woman slipped away and reported the attack to ship security.
The woman’s lawyer told the newspaper that he believes that Royal Caribbean’s security officers took the man into custody and "kicked him off the ship at the next overseas port."
“This is a problem in the cruise industry and if the company cared, it wouldn’t just turn this guy loose in the nearest port. You need to cooperate with the victim and assist in bringing him to the proper authorities.”
The cruise line claims that it reported the incident to the FBI and local law enforcement in St. Kitts.
As we have mentioned in many other article, the FBI has a terrible record investigating cruise ship rapes. 95% of FBI investigation go nowhere and the alleged crew member rapists go free – often ending up working for a different cruise line after spending a few months at home.
Earlier today we reported on the rape of a Royal Caribbean cruise passenger in Cozumel.
Last month we reported on the rape of a passenger by a crew member aboard the Equinox, operated by Royal Caribbean’s sister company Celebrity Cruises. CNN aired a special Predators at Sea about a Royal Caribbean crew member raping a fifteen year old child.
In March we discussed the sexual abuse of a minor aboard the Enchantment of the Seas.
Literally hundreds of women and children have alleged being sexually assaulted on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise ships over the past decade. We have attended 7 Congressional hearings since December 2005 which have studied the issue of cruise passenger safety.
Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean typically under-report the actual number of crimes which occur during cruises. For example, in 2006, Royal Caribbean told Congress that 66 rapes and sexual assaults occurred over the course of the preceding three years – that’s 3 rapes every 2 month just on the Royal Caribbean fleet. However, in a subsequent civil case our firm handled against this cruise line, a trial court here in Miami ordered the cruise line to produce its raw crime data to us. The reports revealed that the total number of rapes, sexual assaults and sex-crimes related incidents were actually around 273 (over 4 times the amount reported to Congress).
The Los Angeles Times covered the story in an article entitled "Cruise Industry’s Dark Waters."